Water chiefs to wind up floods study

Water chiefs to wind up floods study

Survey to help chart out future plans

The Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) expects to finish its study of nine major flood-fighting plans for the lower Chao Phraya River basin this month.

Somkiat Prajamwong, the office secretary-general, said that since the plans are costly, all of them may not be implemented at the same time.

The study, which addresses engineering, economic and social factors in floodwater management, will also provide the flood-fighting agencies with guidelines on what measures to implement first, he said.

The plans involve upgrading the irrigation systems in lower eastern Chao Phraya River, building a water diversion canal to push floodwater from Chai Nat into the Gulf of Thailand, and constructing a water diversion canal along the third ring road in the Central Plains region.

They also involve improving the water irrigation network in the western region, increasing efficiency of water-pushing operations in the Chao Phraya River, building a floodwater drainage canal in Bang Ban and Ban Sai districts of Ayutthaya, expediting floodwater pushing operations in the Tha Chin River, and designating new water catchment areas.

Mr Somkiat said the results of the study will form part of a master plan on water management which may be adopted to help alleviate floods. He said state agencies would need information from the study to decide which projects should be adopted first for the sake of cost-effectiveness.

The study, according to Mr Somkiat, analysed flood problems which have occurred in the lower Chao Phraya River basin in the past and includes projections of flood situations that are likely to strike in the future.

Also incorporated into the study were findings from public hearings on environmental and social impacts.

Meanwhile, in Nakhon Ratchasima, water is being distributed to residents in 10 drought-hit districts as water in four reservoirs continues to drop.

The Lam Takong, Lam Phra Ploeng, Mun Bon and Lam Chae reservoirs have reported a sharp drop in water levels. Usable water has plummeted to 11% in Lam Phra Ploeng, 23% in Lam Chae, 28% in Mun Bon and 39% in Lam Takong, according to the local authorities.

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